Tuesday, April 29, 2008

AH, YOUTH! vol. II...

Jay, the red-state red-head, who posts at "My Hetero Gay Life" and is listed on the right as "Jay's... Life," wrote on Monday:

The new job has started, and other than getting my mind wrapped around all that I have to learn in a relatively short amount of time, that should be all that I’m worried about right? Well I guess not. A was recently commenting herself how busy everything has been lately, what with her new job and now my new job, but the gay thing seems to be bugging us both... I think she just wishes I could give her a clear answer as to what I want...

It really is hard to know exactly what I want. When I think of that question, it is hard for me to separate, what I want if I could choose what I want versus what I want from the realistic options that may be available to me. Ideally, I would say I’m not gay, I’m not going to be gay, I don’t desire a relationship with a man and never will, forget the last few months ever happened and live the rest of our lives together as we have the last 12 years. That would honestly be my ideal #1 choice if I could pick anything.

I wish more than anything that I could be who I am with what I have, minus being gay. That would be great. But I don’t think that’s gonna happen. To be 100% straight that is. I’ve tried for almost 20 years but to no avail. I don’t know what could possible happen from here on out that could possibly change that.

Well since I can’t make myself not gay, I guess option #1 is out. So what would option #2 be? That’s not as easy as #1, but I guess it would have to be that I live my life as gay, have a relationship with a man that cares for me and my family, still have my wife as my best friend, and be the same dad to my kids that I am today. Again, this option is a bit too pie in the sky for me. It’s the “have my cake and eat it too option”. I don’t know if this one could really happen. I just can’t help but feel that were this to really happen, that it would be impossible for A not to harbor anger and resentment towards me (which she would have every right to). I’m not sure I can really handle that.

Option #3 I guess would be to pretty much do nothing. Keeps things the status quo as much as possible. To try and forget the last 6 months or so and try to forget about being gay as much as possible. I don’t quite know how I feel about this option. It offers both the easiest and the hardest options all in one. This one presents the least amount of problems for everybody else in my life. Nothing really has to change except for me. I just have to try and forget about something, but I don’t know if I can do that.

Like I’ve said before, I don’t quite know how to be married and gay. Of course I’ve been married all this time and been gay, but that was when it was just my secret. Now that A knows, it all of a sudden seems different. I have to put something back in the closet after I’ve let it out. I haven’t figured out how to do that yet or even if it can be done (or if I really want to do that). When I told A, I finally had some relief that I could finally be honest with who I am, despite how painful it may be. But that was quickly followed by the realization that there was a lot more to it than just telling her.

Telling her that I’m gay is a hell of a lot easier than living my life as a gay man. Don’t confuse the difficulty in taking this option because it means that I have to spend the rest of my life married to A. I know it’s hard to understand, but me telling her had nothing to do with something being wrong [with] her. It had to do with not feeling I could hide who I was anymore. Right now, I feel like for option 3 to be successful, I have to give up being gay. I wish I could figure out why the idea of giving up something I’ve never really had is so hard, but that is really to tough part about it. I don’t really know what I would be giving up. And I also don’t know how to make the desire to be with a man go away.

I can’t really come up with anything beyond those three options. I guess, simply put I want to be gay. I've spent the better part of my life fighting it and trying to deny it and I’m tired of doing that. I want to finally see if that is what I want. But I don’t want to lose A. I don’t want to hurt her. I don’t want to hurt the things that are most important to me in life. I also don’t know if I can change who I am. I don’t want to commit to being something again and break that commitment years down the road. These are all questions I’ve run through in my head countless times. Maybe I will eventually come up with an answer.

This all sounds so wrenchingly familiar. The circumstances are all different but the emotions are all exactly the same. Ten years of marriage is a long time, if not as long as twenty-five. Believe me, Isis and I were just figuring things out around ten years in; but then, you could say it took us twenty-five to figure it out.

Twenty-five years was half my life...

I wrote a post back in May of 2006 asking all those sure that my situation had only one outcome to please shut up. I meant it, and I think it is still the right thing for those not directly involved to do. But I have to say that having come out on the other side of the looking glass, I can now understand why people were telling me that there was only one way out.

It was their own experience
. In May of 2008, it looks like it was also mine. But I wasn't ready to see it, I couldn't see how I could survive losing everything that mattered to me. I really felt that I was faced with a choice of which of my limbs to have hacked off...

I had to find out for myself that there was no way to end my own suffering without plunging those I loved most into suffering of their own. And the only way to put a stop to their suffering was to stop subjecting them to my inability to choose, and leave. So for me, in the end, they were right after all.

There was only one way out. But it might not have been. I wish it had not been. And it is not necessarily true for everyone, anymore than it is true that every story has the same ending. Would God have gone to all the trouble of making so many of us if things were that straightforward? I think not.

It breaks my heart to know that there are still people out there suffering the agonies I have now left behind me. Leaving home was indeed like cutting off limbs. The emptiness that followed nearly killed me. But there was new life, new love, new hope on the other side of all that suffering.

I guess that is what I would want to say to everyone caught up in the despair of the death of the self they have known and loved: death is not the end. Not of everything. And something new can in fact come on the other side of what seems only like the end of the world.

There are other worlds. They may not be the world you wanted, or the world you dreamed of, or in fact a world you can even imagine. But as Gabriel said to Mary when she scoffed at the Annunciation: "with God nothing is impossible." Amen to that. I really do believe it. And if I didn't before, I have no choice but to believe it now.

I am living it.

Hang in, there, all.
And remember, if you're the praying sort, all those still caught in the throes...


  1. I haven't read your blog before. Found you through a comment on Jay's blog. Your last post was very thoughtful. I'm so glad I found you. People like you are the reason I started blogging. I knew that if this could happen to me, there had to be many others out there in the same situation. Thanks so much for offering your point-of-view. I'm adding you to my blog roll. ang

  2. Wonderful post. And thanks for the introduction to Jay. I have another blog friend, a woman who is in the midst of the same struggle. Who am I? Can I direct who I am to be? How best can I love these loved ones of mine? Stay, pretend? or leave, in hopes of cauterizing the bleeder.
    It is gut wrenching to observe. I can't imagine how painful it is to live it.
    I'm glad for your testimony of surviving this process. I will direct my friend here in hope that she can find something useful.